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Little Benefit Seen in Antipsychotics Used in Alzheimer's

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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 06:18 AM
Original message
Little Benefit Seen in Antipsychotics Used in Alzheimer's
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

Antipsychotic drugs that are widely used to calm agitated patients with Alzheimer's disease help very few of them, and those modest benefits are canceled out by the frequent side effects, a comprehensive government-funded study has found.

The surprising finding is expected to trigger a broad reevaluation of the widespread use of the drugs in patients with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. As many as a quarter of the Alzheimer's patients in nursing homes are prescribed the powerful drugs, even though they have never been formally approved for this purpose.

"I wish I could say the odds are better," said Thomas R. Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, which funded the $17 million study. "This paper says most people are not going to be any different on these drugs than they would on placebo."

The researchers did not conclude that the drugs should never be used, and a minority of patients do benefit. But the study suggests that doctors would be well advised to prescribe the drugs sparingly and as a last resort, experts said.

The study is the latest to produce sobering data on the newer, expensive antipsychotics such as Zyprexa, Risperdal and Seroquel, which are among the most widely prescribed drugs in the United States at an annual cost of about $10 billion. Another government-funded study recently showed that the drugs were no better than an older and much cheaper drug called perphenazine in the treatment of schizophrenia.


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Freedom_from_Chains Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 06:29 AM
Response to Original message
1. Hmmm, that's not good news
since I have an over 50% chance of developing Alzheimer's
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MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 06:53 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. There Are Some Things That Might Reduce The Incidence of Alzheimers
There is some evidence (not conclusive) that the following may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer'rs disease:

- Ibuprofen (e.g. Advil), taken regularly
- Statins (choleterol-lowering drugs) - also slashes incidence of death from heart disease

More speculative are fish oil (also tremendously reduces risk of death from heart disease) and Alpha Lipoic Acid (powerful antioxident availalable over-the-counter in the US)

Good luck!
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MikeDuffy Donating Member (309 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:06 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Statins can cause memory problems of their own for some people.
I had to stop taking them after having done so for a number of years because I started having vertigo spells after my dosage was increased. (I was also concerned about by memory problems). I now take Zetia and have my fingers crossed that it won't do more harm than good...)
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irislake Donating Member (967 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:26 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Statins? No no no.
So many people who took statins for cholesterol have serious problems and as a result Big Pharma is looking for another reason to continue sell statins and reap huge profits. I know as I took statins (Lipitor) for 10 years and now have muscle problems. Research statins and Alzheimers and you will find that corporate funded studies only show benefits. Unbiased studies show statins are harmful. Moreover statins do cause memory loss and it wouldn't surprise me to learn that statins have contributed to the rise in Alzheimers. Take vitamin C with E and drink lots and lots of juice to reduce chances of Alzheimers. Statins are harmful period!
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MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. Evidence Please?
There's plenty of research that shows that statins reduce the annual risk of death by about 20%-30% - for example, see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed... . There are some reported side effects, but not serious side effects.

You may have muscle problems, but they may not have been caused by statins.

Please provide scientific evidence of your claim that statins cause serious problems.
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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Use of COQ10 if you are on statins
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irislake Donating Member (967 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:31 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. Statins
I should add that statins do NOT reduce the death rate from heart disease. Check it out. Studies that are independent -- not funded by Big Pharma -- don't back up claims.
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BentleyJD Donating Member (414 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 06:57 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I did a paper on this for college
Actaully, one of the more promising studies involves using estrogen.

The big problem is the diesease canot be diagnosed except with a post death examination.of the brain.

It is a terrible diesase, my uncle had it, and it destroyed the family almost.
take care
tony and wonder guidedog dietrirch
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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #1
12. Mediterranean Diet and fish oil
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Try these for prevention

For the record I doubt that they work well once the disease is established.
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Mnemosyne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:29 AM
Response to Original message
6. Possible natural help: Marijuana's Key Ingredient Might Fight Alzheimer's
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irislake Donating Member (967 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 07:34 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Yup
Marijuana ingredient is promising.
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Mnemosyne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-12-06 08:58 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Legalize NOW! Damn, thought it would be legal
by now in the 70's.

Now *they* need to wake up and stop making people suffer that don't need too.

How wonderful if this ends up as promising as it sounds!

Welcome to DU irislake! :hi:
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